A King County District Court judge ruled Oct. 16 that an initiative to ban safe consumption sites in King County could not appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.
In her ruling, King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván said the initiative “extends beyond the scope of local initiative power.”
Advocates for safe injection sites fought to keep the ban off the ballot. They argue that the harm-reduction model would prevent overdoses by allowing drug users to consume in the presence of medical professionals. They filed a lawsuit in August, arguing that it would be illegal for the initiative to appear at all because it would allow the voting public to make decisions that are in the domain of Public Health or other governmental entity.
Safe consumption sites are already banned in a number of King County cities, including Bellevue, Renton, Kent, Auburn and Federal Way.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Wait, there's more. Check out articles in the full October 18 issue.